Management Mastery: Individuals, Management Mastery: Teams

Build trust

My old boss used to use the term “open up the kimono” with clients, to show he was not holding anything back.

I want us all to hold back less. Especially at work.

Holding information back from colleagues or teams is not a malicious act. It is not borne out of secrecy or a hoarding mentality. Most people just think, “Eh, others wouldn’t be interested in this,” or, “I wouldn’t want to burden others with this information if it’s not immediately pertinent to their jobs.”

You’d be surprised: people are interested.


Holding back less with colleagues and direct reports fosters trust.

But you don’t necessarily have to go all-out. In situations where you feel the information you have is not particularly mind-blowing, recognize that it’s not particularly mind-blowing to you maybe because, well, it’s your job and you do it. In the most obvious example, your boss might like to know what you discovered, how you navigated a trouble spot, who you ended up consulting with. You want, you need, for your boss to trust you.

But in not-so-obvious examples: your colleagues in other departments who don’t do what you do might find some information from you fascinating, or your direct reports who have no idea what it takes to run things might relish the tiny window of insight you could provide to what’s it’s like for you.


Of course you want to be transparent to your boss to foster trust. But this can work in multiple directions. Share information across the matrix to build trust all the way around.

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